Mark Brooks (Mankind Initiative) debates with Polly Neate (Women’s Aid) on ‘Woman’s Hour’

Mark Brooks, chairman of Mankind Initiative was his usual impressive and convincing self in an interview broadcast this morning, prompted by the MI video set in a London park, which has to date attracted well over 6.5 million viewers. The interview has just been downloaded to our YouTube channel.

The narrative of the Woman’s Hour presenter, Jane Garvey, was predictably more sympathetic towards Polly Neate, the head of Women’s Aid. I’m sure if Mark had been given even a little more time he’d have made some very strong points in response to Polly Neates’s claim that 89% of victims of ‘repeated abuse / coercive control’ are women. It’s a claim Women’s Aid spokeswomen keep trotting out without being challenged, so we’re going to publicly challenge Polly Neate on the claim (along with other claims WA spokeswomen make) later this week.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Thank You Mike. Good stuff, I’ve blogged it. …By the way I hope you don’t mind, I slipped J4MB and others into a title “‘Reset The Net!’ Reddit, Greenpeace, Amnesty, AVfM, J4MB, SGW, All The Good Good People, Unite in Anti-NSA Hit Campaign” …It has become very popular, topping my charts. I presumed we will all support internet privacy as it’s our movement’s life blood, so big-ed up the MHRM and put your link in. I’ll remove your link if you don’t approve. 😉

    • Hi Angelo. Always happy to get more publicity – thanks.

  • I decided to look for Polly’s 89% of repeat victims statistic and would you believe it Women’s Aid were the top match; I expected to see the ONS or the CSEW to be near the top. The figures she quotes come from this page

    http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-articles.asp?section=00010001002200410001&itemid=1280&itemTitle=Statistics%3A+how+common+is+domestic+violence

    It contains a collection of statistics from various, presumably worldwide, sources, the most recent of which is 10 years out of date, the oldest of which is 14 years old. This surprised me so I checked their website to see whether there was more up to date page but the link I have provided is STILL being linked to internally in their more recentl articles so I can only surmise that their most recent data on DV is out of date. I would also suggest that 10 years ago, the rate at which men reported DV was much lower than it is now, and that’s thanks to the efforts of people like Mankind Initiative.

  • I get that you see Womens Aid as a ‘feminist’ organisation who cannot be relied on to provide accurate data in terms of mens violence towards women and vice versa but what would you say to renowned Domestc Abuse expert (and man) Lundy Bancroft who writes: “Where are the men whose partners are forcing them to have unwanted sex? Where are the men who are fleeing to shelters in fear for their lives? How about the ones who try to get to a phone to call for help, but the women block their way or cut the line? The reason we don’t generally see these men is simple: They’re rare…….Even if abused men didn’t want to come forward, they would have been discovered by now…..Among my physically abusive clients, nearly one third have been arrested as a result of a call to the police that came from someone other than the abused woman. If there were millions of cowed, trembling men out there the police would be finding them. Abusive men commonly like to play the role of victim, and most men who claim to be “battered men” are actually the perpetrators of violence, not the victims.” Also since support for male victims of DV is so small why would you work AGAINST other DV support services such as Womens Aid rather than with them? Womens Aid work with other organisations who support male victims such as Respect so they clearly aren’t opposed to doing so.

    • Sally, I’m publishing this is to show visitors to this site how woefully (and wilfully?) ignorant people can be about DV, as well as unsympathetic towards male victims. 40% of victims of DV are men, yet (straight) men have access to fewer than 0.4% of refuge places in the UK. Where DV is one-directional, the perpetrator is more likely to be a woman than a man. Only 4% of female perpetrators report ‘self-defence’ as a motivator. Women are at least as physically aggressive towards intimate partners as men – indeed the highest level of DV is found in lesbian couples. You need to educate yourself about DV rather than trot out the false narratives you’ve brainwashed with.

      I invite you to do two things:

      1. Post your comments on our YT piece too.
      2. Read our critique of the Women’s Aid spokeswoman’s claims in a day or two.

      • Respect is a service for perpetrators wanting to change their behaviours . Unsurprisingly it’s offshoot phone line supposedly for male victims “screens” callers to test their victim status. In exactly the “victim blaming” manner Womensaid would be outraged about for their callers. Mankind,AMIS, Amen, Esteem all reort growing numbers. It is unsurprising if men don’t contact Womensaid as the clue is in the name!! Ms Neate and another spokeswomen both were clear in their irritation that commissioners were requiring local groups to include men, clearly they are not going to be actively seeking men to help! Perhaps men are more stoical, resilient and less demanding of services however is that reason to simply ignore or worse denigrate them? At least Refuge appears to have been quiet. Womensaid have shown their true colours the double standard epitomised by complaining that the very same statistics they actually use ( one in four) are wrong because they show it’s one in six men.

    • Women’s Aid grudgingly offers men’s services because they are legally obliged to, under the equalities act 2010. Polly Neate is fairly clear about her opinions of that by the way that she talks about that situation. Also, no-one is working against women’s aid, in fact Mark Brooks was very clear that wanted to work with other domestic violence charities, the same cannot be said for Polly Neate who spent most of her time trying to trivialise Mark’s work. Two very different people with two very different approaches. On the one hand we have Mark Brooks, a man who wants to see men’s services given a level of funding equivalent to their need without diminishing women’s services. On the other Polly Neate who just wants her charity’s funding back and men’s services be damned. Collaboration vs Isolation.

  • As Polly Neate made clear her agenda is money. She throws in that male victims may be so from males , entirely gratuitous as it doesn’t stop them being victims! Just as female victims of female abusers are somehow not victims in this topsy turvey world view where only males can abuse and women simply can’t be perpetrators. Absolutely an expession of ideology that has to deny male victims or female perpetrators exist! If only it were true that authorities commissioning services were always giving resources for these ignored victims. Those that do are of course basing their decisions on the evidence ( as is Mankind) not some seventies ideology actually contradicted by the very person who actually started the refuge movement.